Frequently Asked Questions about Liposuction
Though liposuction has been one of the most popular plastic surgery techniques for more than three decades now, patients interested in liposuction in Houston typically are unaware of its finer details. Because we at Downsize! Lipo Center value patient education, we have created a list of frequently asked questions about liposuction.
Watch this Video on Dr. Hennessy’s Liposuction Process
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, often referred to as “lipo,” is a common surgical procedure where deposits of excess adipose tissue (fat) are removed from “trouble spot” areas of the body, including the abdomen, flanks (love handles), bra strap area, arms, male chest, chin, neck, lower back, outer thighs, inner thighs, and saddle bags.
This fat-removal procedure is performed with a thin wand called a cannula, which is inserted into the desired area after the area is numbed. The cannula is attached to a vacuum, which removes the fat from the body.
The amount of fat that is removed varies greatly depending on the person’s weight, what areas they are working on, and how many areas they are having done at the same time. The amount of fat and aspirate (fat and numbing fluid combined) that is removed ranges from one liter to up to 4 liters.
Liposuction helps individuals who have trouble spots that are resistant to diet and exercise. These stubborn areas are often hereditary and sometimes not proportionate to the rest of their body. Even individuals who are in good shape can struggle with areas such as love handles that just don’t seem to want to respond to diet and exercise.
To best understand types of results that can be achieved through liposuction, it is helpful to look over before and after photos of our past patients.
“Dr. Hennessy listened and understood me when I said ‘hour glass’ figure. He removed from the areas that were so stubborn and hard for me to get rid of. I would do it all over again. After the procedure Maureen followed up with me and I’m here now 3 months later for a check up and still receiving outstanding service!! I give them an A+”
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Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
The best candidates for liposuction surgery are patients who are at or near their ideal body weight (within 30% of it) but still have stubborn pockets of fat that they would like to get rid of. Ideal candidates have tried consistent diet and exercise but have not found them to be effective in reducing trouble areas.
If you are looking for a large-volume fat-reduction or weight-loss procedure, liposuction is not an ideal option for you. This procedure is specifically intended to remove smaller amounts of excess stubborn fat. It is highly effective for precise spot reduction.
Patients who have realistic expectations, clarity on their goals for body contouring, and a positive view of the liposuction procedure are excellent candidates for this surgery.
Ideal candidates for lipo have good muscle tone and elastic skin, since the skin will need to be able to shrink down to fit the new contours of the treated area. When patients have inelastic skin, excess skin may be left over after the surgical session; this skin will need to be removed through a body-contouring procedure.
The best candidates are non-smokers. Smoking negatively affects skin health in a number of ways, including causing a decline in the skin’s collagen protein supply. This reduces skin elasticity, making it harder for skin to shrink down after liposuction.
Smokers who are interested in liposuction must quit several weeks before their procedure is to be performed. Additionally, they must avoid smoking for the duration of their recovery period, since smoking can prolong the healing process and increase the chance of post-surgical complications.
What Should I Expect from the Initial Appointment?
Before your liposuction date can be scheduled, you will need to pay a visit to Dr. Hennessy for evaluation. Dr. Hennessy will perform an examination of the trouble areas in order to ensure that liposuction is the ideal treatment option. He will also evaluate your overall health.
Part of this consultation will be a discussion of your complete medical history. This discussion will include any medications or supplements you are currently taking, since certain medications and supplements can have negative interactions with aspects of the procedure. Additionally, any allergies and past procedures will be discussed.
Dr. Hennessy will go into detail regarding the liposuction procedure, the preparation process, and the recovery and healing process. Patient education is incredibly important, because it will help you go into the surgery feeling well-informed and relaxed. Dr. Hennessy will also ask you about your goals for the procedure.
Once the doctor is certain that this procedure is the right choice for you, he will set a date for the surgery.
What Are the Different Types of Liposuction?
Traditional Liposuction – Done under general anesthesia
Tumescent Liposuction – Done under local anesthesia and therefore is safer for the patient than traditional liposuction
laser Lipo – Two types of Laser Lipo.
Two types are performed:
- External Laser Liposuction: This includes CoolSculpting and Zerona. The laser is only placed on the outside of the skin; no suctioning is done. This is the least invasive type of laser liposuction, but results are substantially less noticeable than others types of liposuction.
- Internal Laser Liposuction: This includes SmartLipo, Slimlipo, and other laser systems that are similar. The laser is placed inside the skin into the fat layer and helps liquify the fat and tighten the skin, then the fat if suctioned out. This is much more effective than external laser liposuction. Internal laser liposuction is a subset of tumescent liposuction. This only difference is that there is an extra step between numbing and suctioning to use the laser to help liquify the fat.
Power-Assisted Liposuction – Dr. Hennessy’s Preferred Method
(see next section)
What Type of Liposuction Does Dr. Hennessy Perform?
Dr. Hennessy performs a type of tumescent liposuction called power-assisted liposuction (PAL).
Power-assisted liposuction is performed using a special cannula (thin wand) which uses tiny, rapid vibrations to break up fat cells so that they can be suctioned out of the body. Tumescent liposuction is a relatively new technique that is more comfortable than other liposuction approaches. Dr. Hennessy will infuse a local anesthetic into the target area. After the areas to be treated are numb, a cannula is used to remove the fat. General anesthesia is not used.
This technique offers multiple benefits: Less risk of infection, less blood loss, no need for IV placement, short recovery time (some patients return to work within 48 hours). In addition, patients are even able to watch a movie during the liposuction procedure.
Doctors can remove more fat in a shorter period of time, which leads to enhanced results, a safer procedure, and faster recovery.
Can Liposuction Be Combined with Other Procedures?
Liposuction is frequently combined with other plastic surgery procedures to improve the overall contours of the body. It is also often used in gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction surgery.
Will a Liposuction Procedure Get Rid Of My Cellulite?
Cellulite appears when the skin gets attached to the underlying fascia through fibrous adhesions. A liposuction procedure isn’t going to help you get rid of cellulite, but it can help to a certain extent.
The procedure gets rid of fibrous septa and favors lymphatic drainage to reduce the fat volume in a particular region of the body. This can reduce the appearance of light cellulite, but it won’t have an impact on regions of the body that have excess cellulite.
What Is Liposuction Recovery Like?
The exact details of liposuction aftercare will vary depending on the amount of fat removed, the number of regions that were treated, and the locations of these areas. Generally, it will be important to follow Dr. Hennessy’s directions in order to achieve the best possible liposuction results.
The liposuction recovery and healing process typically involve a degree of swelling and bruising in the treatment areas. These are only temporary and will fade in time.
To help control swelling, patients must wear a post-surgical elastic garment during liposuction recovery. This garment also allows the skin to better fit the new contours of the area that has been reduced in volume.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
The price for liposuction will vary depending on the technique used and the extent of the surgery. Downsize! Lipo Center PLLC strives to make this procedure affordable.
The average cost of liposuction in the U.S. for the most common body parts are outlined below compared to Downsize! Lipo Center PLLC:
We are currently offering a 50% discount promotion to all first time patients.
AVG. US COST $
|Upper & Lower Abdomen with flanks:||$6,000–$14,000||$3,900–$4,600|
|Upper & Lower Abdomen only:||$5,000–$11,000||$3,200–$3,600|
|Upper OR Lower Abdomen:||$3,500–$8,000||$2,000–$2,600|
|Chin (submental area):||$3,000–$6,000||$2,000–$2,400|
|Outer with Inner Thighs:||$5,000–$7,000||$4,200–$4,600|
|Middle with Lower Back:||$5,000–$7,000||$3,200–$3,800|
|Bra area (only):||$3,000–$6,000||$2,000–$2,400|
|Suprapubic area (mons pubis):||$4,000–$7,000||$2,000–$2,400|
Is Financing Available to Help with Liposuction Cost?
If you are concerned about the cost of liposuction, Downsize! Lipo Center PLLC offers convenient cosmetic surgery financing to fit your budget.
Downsize! Lipo Center PLLC offers Lending USA Patient Financing.
*All information and pricing subject to change.